Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 2/3
In what is a heavyweight FA Cup showdown on Friday night, Manchester City will travel to north London when they meet Tottenham.
Starting with the hosts, while Tottenham might still face a real battle in their bid to book a Champions League return, Ange Postecoglou’s side have continued to receive a string of praise. Last seen snatching an action-packed 2-2 stalemate away at Manchester United, the former Celtic boss should find the mood in his camp at a red-hot high. Signing off 2023 with an action-packed 3-1 victory at home against Bournemouth, the Lilywhites have continued to impress with their success in north London. Extending on their FA Cup adventure earlier in the month as they secured a 1-0 win against Bournemouth, Tottenham have won all of their last four showdowns in front of their own supporters by an aggregate score of 10-3. Likewise, landing a 1-0 win when they last welcomed Manchester City to the capital 11 months ago, Postecoglou’s side should be relishing a heavyweight opportunity this weekend.
Away with South Korea at this month’s Asia Cup, Tottenham will once again be without the services of influential skipper Son Heung-min on Friday night. Likewise, featuring with Mali at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations, Yves Bissouma will not feature this weekend.
Although England international James Maddison might be inching towards a return from his long-term ankle injury, the former Leicester ace is not expected to be risked here. Finding the net in six of his previous seven appearances across all competitions, Brazilian international Richarlison will spearhead Postecoglou’s charge in north London.
As for the visitors, although Manchester City might face a real uphill battle in their bid to make more Premier League history this season, the Sky Blues are in the midst of a real purple patch. Last seen picking up a lively 3-2 victory away at Newcastle, Pep Guardiola’s superstar squad have won all of their previous six appearances across all competitions. Breezing their way to the Champions League knockout stage last month and tipped as a leading contender to defend their European crown, the former Barcelona boss also finds his side enjoying a nine-match unbeaten run. Firing on all cylinders and refining a major clinical edge in the final third, Manchester City will be desperate to make another domestic statement here. Extending on their FA Cup adventure on January 7th as they stormed their way to a routine 5-0 romp against Championship outfit Huddersfield, it should also be highlighted that Friday’s guests have won all of their previous five showdowns away from the Etihad.
Dealing with an extended foot issue and missing all of Manchester City’s last nine appearances across all competitions, it remains to be seen if attacking icon Erling Haaland will make a welcomed return here. Likewise, dealing with an ankle injury and struggling to find much fluidity this season, England international John Stones is not expected to feature.
However, finding the net at St. James’ Park on his return from a long-term hamstring injury on January 13th, midfield talisman Kevin De Bruyne could make a first domestic start since the start of August. Bagging a first Premier League strike against Newcastle earlier in the month, 20-year-old Oscar Bobb should be handed a full recall in north London.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Tottenham and Manchester City last met back on December 3rd, Friday’s opponents played out a thrilling 3-3 stalemate at the Etihad.
- The defending Premier League champions have won all of their previous six appearances across all competitions.
- Tottenham have won all of their last four straight domestic appearances in north London.
- Brazil international Richarlison has scored six goals in his previous seven appearances across all competitions.
- Manchester City have recorded just a single clean sheet from their previous seven contests away from the Etihad.
With Tottenham and Manchester City playing out that thrilling 3-3 stalemate when they met at the Etihad on December 3rd, neutrals will be hoping for a repeat performance here. Two sides who are enjoying their own respective purple patches, chances could come thick and fast on Friday night. It should be highlighted, with Guardiola’s side seeing four of their previous five showdowns away from the Etihad finish with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome from north London this weekend.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 2/3